I love going back over my old posts and reading things. To me it is like finding a missed Easter treat and enjoying it (ah yes I eat old candy, especially chocolate, not weird gross stuff, and hey for all we know they made those eggs 3 years ago as it is), it is a reminder to me that I had organized moments in my life. I love being organized and the things we put stuff in to be organized. I’m a nerd what can I say, I get more excited about buying paper and pens at Staples then clothing. I am always sorting and purging this house. With 4 kids it seems like it makes it’s way in faster than I can send it out. Some days I just want to cancel all holidays and birthdays to keep the breeding of clutter at bay.
Back in the fall I was lamenting again to a friend about the amount of stuff we had. She mentioned a book she read called “The Joy of Less, by Francine Jay”, so as I gazed around her immaculate house I figured I couldn’t go wrong! The book is an introduction to becoming a minimalist. It took a few months for the library to get it in for me so it was around November when I did get a chance to read it.
The book really opened my eyes. While I had always cleaned out old broken toys, clothes that didn’t fit anymore and books we didn’t read, I didn’t look much further into the house. All of a sudden I found myself looking at each possession in my house asking myself and the object if it brought me joy, did it have a purpose and was it worthy of my home. Right away I wanted to fill the house will boxes to pack stuff up and get rid of it. But I stopped myself and worked at finishing the book. It was also a crazy time for our family, the holidays were fast approaching, we were still working out the details to our Disneyland trip and my parents were due to come. So I decided to really absorb what I could of the book and wait until January to begin an all mighty purge. I found her methods so easy to grasp and follow. She really made me think about what I was keeping in my life. So much of what we own is for someone else’s enjoyment and not our own. That and all the things we thought we would be so great to own when we got married. More and more I think I am going to convince my kids to elope. Because honestly who really does have time for martini parties, with fancy dishes we spent hours preparing for the fancy glassware we have and the awesome fondue set we own. If you’re like me you will find as you read this book it feels like she secretly knows you and all the things you have hiding in your cupboards.
So now it is January and we have settled back in from our holiday to Disneyland and I am slowly (and I mean slowly, so don’t expect an immaculate house when you visit), chipping away at the things in our home. Anything I can sell and get a couple dollars for (to help fund my Vitamix I want) the better. It can be overwhelming to take on a house full of stuff, but even just starting with one small drawer, or shelf can make a difference. I am working at the approach of trying to tackle one bedroom over a week or two and a small area of the house like a set of drawers, or a bookshelf.
This past week I managed to tackle my cookbooks and the girls room. I weeded out a few toys (ones I knew they wouldn’t notice) and a bag full of clothes. I was also able to organize their items, give everything a good wipe down and give things a nice home that wasn’t overloaded. It can be hard with kids because they do notice certain things and collect a lot of things they play with. At least with items in homes I am able to suggest pulling out one activity at a time and easily put it back away.The other plus is we didn’t buy our kids lots for Christmas so they didn’t collect a lot. They each got one gift from Santa, a stocking (mostly full of items for Disneyland) and a Disney T-Shirt from Dave and I.
Bottom line if you feel like you want to burn your house down and start over this book is a great read to avoid that. Checked it out from your local library as a clutter free and environmentally responsible method as well.